Accessing Restricted-Use Data
About Restricted-Use Data
Sometimes the protective measures taken to reduce disclosure risk would significantly degrade the research potential of the data. In these cases, ICPSR provides access to restricted-use versions that retain confidential data by imposing stringent requirements for accessing them. There are two types of restricted data:
- Data available to vetted researchers by temporary secure download or on removable media
- Data accessible only within a secure data enclave
Applying for Access to Restricted-Use Data
Details on applying for access to a restricted-use dataset are available on the study's home page. For example, researchers will see the following message and links on the study home page under Access Notes:
One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the data. Authentication is required to apply for access.
Typically, a request to access restricted-use data includes:
- An application for restricted data
- A confidential data security plan
- A Restricted Data Use Agreement
- A research staff form
Requesters should use the Restricted Data Use Agreement linked to the restricted-use dataset via the online system, as some ICPSR archives have one restricted data use agreement applicable to all the archive's restricted-use data, whereas other archives may have restricted data use agreements specific to a particular dataset.
To access ICPSR member-only data, users must be affiliated with an ICPSR member institution. Users must log in to the online system using an ICPSR MyData account or their Facebook or Google passwords.
Components of the application include:
- Name, department, and title of the Investigator
- Description of the proposed research that supports need to access the restricted-use data
- Information on data formats needed and data-storage technology
- Approval or exemption from the Institutional Review Board of the data user's organization
- A Restricted Data Use Agreement signed by the Investigator and a legal representative from the Investigator's institution
Upon completion, requests are reviewed by ICPSR staff for approval.
Approval and Access
When the request is approved, the Investigator will receive a temporary link and password to download the files. In some instances, data will be sent to researchers on encrypted compact disk through the postal service, signature required.
If accessing the restricted-use data in a data enclave, approved users will be provided with detailed instructions for doing so.
Studies with Restricted-Use Data
A listing of studies containing restricted data is available on our website, as is a list of studies with some restricted data and some public-use files.